mosaic does health and safety the smart way

Smart rugged phones for smart site management solutions

The ‘rugged’ phone market, primarily targeting tradespeople,  is forecast to account for around 18 million handset sales from a global predicted overall figure of 1.5 billion in 2016. This segment still represents a sizable profit for handset producers and other entrants. To stretch their brand further Caterpillar and DeWalt have their own version on the market, alongside the likes of iPhone who have produced a tough case for trades people in this space.

The BBC recently tested out the 4G-enabled Tuffphone 400, another popular brand, on a building site and found it could receive calls under water after several minutes of being submerged and survive a tumble around in a cement mixer full of sand. After these ordeals it could still make calls and get online after being dropped from scaffolding over 2m high. However they were advised by the retailer that it would not withstand “a direct blow from a hammer”.

Mosaic’s array of site solutions can either work off a PDA or a smart phone provided it is on the Android, iOS or Windows platform. Should your work phone have the facility for ‘Near Field Communication’ (NFC) or a camera incorporated then it will be able to read our smart card, barcodes and RFID tags used in conjunction with our applications. This means when you are out on site giving a Toolbox Talk simply use your own smart phone – but please make sure it is a rugged one to ensure it survives the rigours of site work!

Mosaic Management Systems provides health and safety compliant site management software that offers you an online and flexible solution to on boarding, competency management, access control, asset management, stock control, fatigue management and toolbox talks.

Source: BBC article

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technologies that may improve health and safety on construction sites

Emerging technologies assisting the construction industry

According to a BBC article instead of the workforce in high-viz jackets and hard hats (PPE – Personal Protection Equipment), there will be drones buzzing overhead, robotic bulldozers and 3D printers producing all manner of new structures. That at least is the hope of those innovators creating new technological solutions. Firstly they have to get buy-in from the traditionally risk-averse construction industry that such change is beneficial.

Some construction companies are already using drones to survey sites and existing structures. Following the earthquake in Christchurch NZ some years ago, they now use a drone to survey the structure of the badly damaged cathedral, which they hope to rebuild.  Japanese construction machinery giant Komatsu has gone one step further – using the drones to provide the eyes for automated bulldozers. The drones send 3D models of a building site to a computer which then feeds the information to unmanned machinery to guide them.

One of the potential solutions to the housing crisis could also be 3D printing, which is already making an impact on the construction industry – cutting both the time and cost of building houses. The UN estimates that by 2030 approximately three billion people will require housing and has mooted 3D printing as one possible solution. A team in the School of Civil and Building Engineering at Loughborough University, in the same town as our HQ, has been working on the technology since 2007, first developing a 3D concrete printer within a frame, but more recently with a robotic arm that can print up to 10 time quicker.

At the forefront of technology ourselves Mosaic Management Systems provides health and safety site management software that offers you an online and flexible solution to on boarding, competency management, access control, asset management, stock control, fatigue management and toolbox talks.

To find out more about the company please follow the link.

health and safety myth

Health & Safety Executive (HSE) determined to put the myths to bed!

With a view to counteracting the daft decisions being blamed on Health and Safety, the HSE has decided to publish a myth of the month webpage, backed up with a myth busters challenge panel. The panel allows you to check if Health & Safety does apply to situations, or it is being used to stop sensible activities going ahead. An example of a case they investigated was where an employer wanted all employees to wear high viz tabards even when their job was regarded as low risk. The panel quickly ruled that this was outside the remit of health and safety as their job was deemed to be low risk.

Just to reassure you all about some classic ones that most of you may have come across and think it is Health & safety gone mad – children do not need to wear googles when they are playing conkers and can still pin the tail on the donkey. Please follow the link to read more of the top 10 myth busters.

Mosaic Management Systems provides health and safety site management software that offers you an online and flexible solution to on boarding, competency management, access control, asset management, stock control, fatigue management and toolbox talks.

To find out more about the company please follow the link.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Key US construction study concludes that a health & safety culture really does affect the bottom line

Worker using a still saw with no PPE gloves, googles and dust mask
US Worker using a still saw with no PPE gloves, googles and dust mask

Construction contractors who take safety seriously and invest more in worker safety really do achieve better profitability than contractors who spend less on safety, according to the results of a recent US survey.

More than 250 contractors participated in the survey, which was conducted by Dodge Data & Analytics (in partnership with the Center for Construction Research and Training and United Rentals).

The study measured contractors on 33 leading indicators to determine their place on the spectrum of safety culture. Thirty-two percent of contractors scored on the high end of the spectrum, 35 percent scored in the moderate level and 33 percent scored on the low end.

The key finding were that contractors who scored higher on the safety culture spectrum reported greater business benefits from their safety investments than contractors who scored on the lower end of the spectrum.

  • Improved project quality: 88 percent (upper end) versus 56 percent (lower end)
  • Improved staff retention: 79 percent (upper end) versus 45 percent (lower end)
  • Increased project return on investment: 75 percent (upper end) versus 38 percent (lower end)
  • Greater ability to attract new staff: 67 percent (upper end) versus 27 percent (lower end)

competent personIn addition the researchers compared these results to those of a similar survey conducted in 2012 and found that more contractors are recognising the role of workers in increasing project safety. Jobsite worker involvement scored as the most widely recognised aspect of a world-class safety program: 85 percent, an increase of 19 percentage points from the 2012 survey. Involve your workers in the process of safety on site and they will deliver.

Mosaic Management Systems provides health and safety site management software that offers you an online and flexible solution to on boarding, competency management, access control, asset management, stock control, fatigue management and toolbox talks.

To find out more about the company please follow the link.

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The state of health and safety in global construction – an opportunity for improved PPE policies

According to an article in SHP by Nigel Crunden there has been a considerable increase in major construction projects within the emerging powerhouse economies of the world such as India and China and it is predicted that this will be where global growth emanates from to bring about recovery to the world economy. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has forecast that 70 per cent of global growth will come from emerging markets over the next decade, with construction playing a considerable part in driving this forward. However, this increase has also highlighted a lack of standardised health and safety policies to protect workers, particularly in the construction sector.

While implementing a global set of health and safety policies are clearly unrealistic, there is some potential in reaching a consensus around key aspects of health and safety in construction, such as PPE (Personal Protection Equipment). Throughout many emerging markets, although health and safety policies include guidelines on PPE, sometimes these are not strongly enforced.

Regardless of the health and safety policy of specific nations, it is vital for individual companies and contractors operating on the ground to drive best practice forward when it comes to site safety. In 2013 alone, India experienced over 11,000 falls from height, many of which could have been prevented through enforcing the constant use of structural protection and, in some cases, PPE.  Falling objects are a key hazard on any construction site and as well as ensuring protective headwear is worn, it is important to guard the feet through advocating the wearing of robust footwear with steel toecaps.

Visibility is crucial within any environment where ongoing construction is taking place, simply due to the high amount of personnel performing different tasks. Hi-vis clothing protects against the risks of not being seen by, for example, an oncoming vehicle. Drivers need to see hazards from further away in order for them to have enough time to react.

Introducing measures around the wearing of PPE certainly isn’t the be all and end all when it comes to completely standardising a formal, global approach to safety. However, it does help address basic health and safety requirements, which, if followed consistently throughout nations that don’t have stipulations within the law, should help in protecting workers to a greater extent than they are at present.

Mosaic Management Systems provide industry safety critical online software to aid on boarding of a workforce, competency checking and record briefings and toolbox talks. We also provide an asset tagging module that could ensure that when PPE is distributed to the workforce it is tracked. This coupled with our toolbox talk module means that the issuing and briefings around any PPE equipment can be recorded against individual records for management scrutiny.

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Top 8 Health & Safety risks found on construction sites

The construction industry accident fatality rate stands at twice that of other sectors. Construction sites are therefore callenging places from a health and safety perspective – almost every conceivable hazard exists within this constantly changing working environment.

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However the hazards associated with construction sites are well known and luckily most responsible employers are aware of their duty of care to employees, visitors, and those that may be affected by their activities, and will manage the site effectively, implementing appropriate accident prevention measures.

Listed below are just a few of the main hazards that are encountered on a typical construction site:

1. Working at Height

The construction of buildings invariably requires tradesmen to work at height. Fatalities and injuries involving height relating factors account for many accidents each year. The risks associated with working at a height are often increased by additional access and mobility restrictions.

2. Moving Objects

A construction site is always on the move; hazards are inherent to this industry and only increase as a construction project progress. Construction sites are busy places what with the shear volume of constantly moving vehicles and trades people – overhead lifting equipment shifting heavy loads, supply vehicles, dumper trucks everywhere, manoeuvring around a usually uneven terrain. Site layout is crucial to ensure a smooth flow or goods, materials and the workforce around it to ensure all remain safe. Correct access controls that accurately record entry and exit along with a comprehensive induction go a long way to maintaining safety on site.

4. Slips, Trips, & Falls

When you consider all the activities going on around the site at any one time it is unsurprising that slips, trips, and falls happen frequently. Construction sites are place of holes in the ground, buildings at various stages of completion, scaffolding, stored materials and equipment: you really do need to have your wits about you at all times. Proper training in the form of briefings and tool box talks can be carried out by site managers to ensure workers are made aware of these dangers in general and that can be unique to each site. These should be recorded in a useable format to ensure everyone has been briefed and the message has been tailored to different workers as well.

5. Noise

Noise is a major hazard on site. Excessive noise causes over a period can cause long term hearing problems and can be a dangerous distraction, the cause of accidents. Employers are required to carry out and document a comprehensive noise risk assessment – and issue appropriate PPE (Protective Protection Equipment).

6. Material & Manual Handling

Materials and equipment is being constantly lifted and moved around on a construction site, whether manually or by the use of lifting equipment. Different trades will involve greater demands, but all may involve some degree of risk. Where employee’s duties involve manual handling, then adequate training must be carried out. Where lifting equipment is used, then adequate training must also be carried out, but may involve some form of test, to confirm competency. Records of training must be maintained for verification and kept up to date.

7. Airborne Fibres & Materials – Respiratory Diseases

Construction sites cause a lot of dust, some of which can be toxic mix of hazardous materials and fibres that can damage the lungs. Often the dust is invisible and fine. Just issuing PPE is not enough…employers have a duty to ensure protective equipment is actually used. Failure to do so could render an employee to disciplinary action and in hot water with the health and safety executive. All this activity needs to be logged in a central location for future reference.

8. Electricity

On average, three construction industry workers are electrocuted each year during refurbishment work on commercial and domestic buildings. People working near overhead power lines and cables are also at risk. There are also a growing number of electrocutions involving workers who are not qualified electricians but who are carrying electrical work, such as plumbers and joiners and decorators. Competencies need to be checked prior to contractors coming on site and off limit areas need to be highlighted as part of the induction process.

Mosaic Software – Making Site Management Easier

Behind every construction project there is a need to successfully induct workers, monitor site access and check competencies. Mosaic does all of this and more via an online Network Passport and Smart Card system. With this system one card really does open up a world of innovative site management possibilities.

Please click here to read more about how we can help you manage your projects